The new OWN Network has struggled to find its audience in the cable market. But the one diamond that has surfaced from the rough start is “Welcome to Sweetie Pies,” a reality show which actually feels natural and authentic. Sweetie Pie’s is a family run restaurant in St. Louis, MO. Unlike the Braxton’s, T.I. and Tiny, The Kardashian’s and many other family reality shows, there are no wannabe stars or wannabe clothing designers. The Montgomery Family are hard working folks with strong community roots. They have dreams but none seem willing to sell their souls to the devil for them.
At first glance of the promos Miss Robbie, the owner and patriarch of the family, is portrayed as a mammy stereotype, dispensing snappy quips off the cuff, “You need to get your big ass feet off my desk,” “Stop playing. I ain’t got time for that bull,” “I'll take that pole and bust your head.” Miss Robbie never stutters or bites her tongue. She tells it like it is. This must have been problematic for Ike Turner for whom she used to sing back up for. At seventy one years young, sporting a short, blonde Afro, gold hoops and colorful ensembles, you can still see the remnants of the young girl Miss Robbie once was. Cause she’s still cutie pie.
Here are the top five reasons I dig this seasoned diva:
1. She’s healthier than most her age and she sells soul food. Miss Robbie is defying African American genetics. Meanwhile, Paul Deen has “the suga.”
2. She’s suffered loss (buried a son), grief, pain and struggle like anyone who lives long enough experiences yet she’s not bitter. Okay, maybe a little gruff, but in a nice way. She can still be comical about life and has a very optimistic outlook.
3. She’s proved that all a person needs is a second chance. Her son, Tim, was in incarcerated for ten years but has earned a partnership in Sweetie Pie’s since his release.
4. Miss Robbie encourages her family members to pursue their dreams, advising them on matters and never sparing the rod. Tim says to her, “I wish you'd get a man.” She retorts, “I wish you'd get a wife.” Quick to remind him that he needs to man up and marry Jenae, his long time girlfriend, and mother of his child. She even goes to counseling with him . (Applause here)
5. At seventy one Miss Robbie isn’t pumping the brakes. In fact, she speeding up as we follow her journey to open a third location this season. At an age where society says, you’re too old, you should retire, take a vacation. I can imagine Miss Robbie responding to naysayers with both hands on her hips, “God didn’t create me to lie on no damn beach.”
Miss Robbie and her family have captivated my heart with their love and sincere concerns and disagreements. I’ll be tuning in this season for more inspiration, because I want to be fierce inside and out like Miss Robbie when I grow up.
Catch "Welcome to Sweetie Pie's" Saturday’s @ 9pm on OWN TV.